Arts and Culture

Kentucky Opera released details about its 70th anniversary performance season Thursday. It will feature three mainstage shows at the Brown Theatre, plus a holiday run of “The Gift of the Magi” at the opera’s downtown home.

According to a news release, the 2022-2023 season includes more public performances than in many of its past seasons. 

The new season opens in September with Puccini’s “La Bohème,” a well-known opera about a group of struggling artists living in Paris.

“Sometimes friends are the family we choose,” Barbara Lynne Jamison, general director and CEO of Kentucky Opera, said in the release. “‘La Bohème’ demonstrates the sacrifices we are willing to make when we truly care about others. We can’t think of a more perfect way to celebrate our community as we open our 70th anniversary season.”

“La Bohème” is followed by “María de Buenos Aires” in November.

The tango opera, often described as “surrealist,” follows a woman named Maria, born “one day when God was drunk,” and her life, and afterlife, in Buenos Aires. 

In December, the opera will present “The Gift of the Magi” at its downtown headquarters known as the Opera Center. The chamber opera is based on a short story of the same name.

The season closes with Gioachino Rossini’s family-friendly “Cinderella” – “La Cenerentola,” in Italian – at the Brown Theatre in February.

In the release, Jamison said each production in the season, “in their own way, reveals a window to our humanity.”

“From lighthearted to heartbreakingly beautiful, this season’s elements help us explore and express ourselves through art, drama, music and dance,” she continued.

Here’s the full season:

  • “La Bohème,” Sept. 23, 25, 27, 29 and Oct. 2 at the Brown Theatre
  • “María de Buenos Aires,” Nov. 11 and 13 at the Brown Theatre
  • “Cinderella,” Feb. 24 and 26 at the Brown Theatre
  • “The Gift of the Magi,” Dec. 15, 16, 18, 20 and 22 at the Opera Center

In addition to its performance season, Kentucky Opera also announced it will bring back its Youth Opera Project this fall. 

The organization launched the effort in 2019. It allows young people, ages 8 to 18, the chance to work with professional artists and perform for the public. For the upcoming season, Youth Opera Project participants will perform in “La Bohème.”

Auditions are by appointment May 10 and 14, and June 11.

Stephanie Wolf is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.